President Donald Trump has unveiled his new budget blueprint, which aims to quantify the president's "America First" agenda in dollars and cents.
The plan calls for significant increases in military and border-security spending, along with cuts in other areas. Many of these cuts could have a major impact on California.
Ross DeVol, chief research officer at the Milken Institute, called the cuts “draconian,” saying they would disproportionately affect lower-income Californians, funding for disaster responses and state programs that help minorities pay for college.
“I haven’t seen anything like this out here since the early days of Ronald Reagan,” DeVol told KPCC.
One of the programs that could be hit hardest is a national college tuition assistance program, the “Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant,” DeVol said. The program, which is supported by federal funds that feed the state’s budget, could see its end in Trump’s budget cuts, he said.
The grant offers between $100 and $4,000 a year to students with financial need, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Many of those students happen to be Latinos and other minorities, DeVol said.
“This is a program that California has benefitted from,” he said. “I see this, longer term, as perhaps being the biggest negative impact in terms of cutting back on our seed capital.”
Trump’s proposed federal budget also ramps up military spending, and could contribute to aerospace research and development, drone and anti-cyber research, DeVol said.
“So, that’s the good news,” he said. “But in the short term, it’s hard to envision how this doesn’t negatively affect the state.”
Click the blue player button above to listen to the full interview.